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Travel industry leader Debbie Fiorino shares her thoughts on the impending christening of AmaSiena

Per both naval tradition and AmaWaterways’ tradition, the AmaSiena is one of our newest ships that will be christened with fanfare (and champagne) in 2021 after an unexpected year-long waiting period brought on by the global pandemic. While an official date for her christening has not yet been selected, we are eagerly awaiting what promises to be one of our most meaningful events to date as we celebrate the return of safe travel on Europe’s rivers.

In the interview below, AmaSiena’s Godmother, Debbie Fiorino, Senior Vice President and COO of Owned Brands for World Travel Holdings, reflects on being chosen for this great honor, her passion for travel and why river cruising is the best way to see the world.

Which AmaWaterways river cruises have you experienced – and which is your favorite?

I loved sailing the Tulip Time itinerary through the Netherlands and Belgium aboard AmaSonata. I have also experienced sailing aboard the Zambezi Queen on Africa’s Chobe River – that was my favorite experience out of all of my vacations by far.  Another AMA-zing bucket-list trip I experienced was on the AmaDara through the Mekong region.

What do you feel are AmaWaterways’ greatest distinctions?

It starts with the people both aboard and shoreside, starting from the top with the owners. The crew on board is like no other, they know your name within minutes and bond with you to create a memorable experience. At the end of the cruise you don’t want to leave because you feel like you’re leaving family.

What was your reaction when you found out you were chosen to be the Godmother of AmaSiena?

I was overwhelmed. I’m a crier and I was trying not to cry. It was humbling and unexpected – a total surprise to me. I never imagined I would have such an honor.

How are you planning to prepare for the big event?

I really want to make sure I am representing the travel space, my company and the people within my company in the best light. I think I need to practice the blessing over and over again. And smash a few champagne bottles so I get it right! I also want to learn about the people and culture in the city where AmaSiena will be christened.

In the spring of 2020, you participated in AmaWaterways’ live Sip & Sail virtual event with several of our other Godmothers. How does it feel to be a “Godmother in Waiting”?

Seeing all of the remarkable women and other Godmothers…I was completely humbled and honored and I still want to pinch myself that this is happening. AmaWaterways proves time and time again that they’re always there for us. I am very excited to be a Godmother in waiting – it’s kind of like planning a wedding in a way. The thrill of the buildup of the big day is the real excitement!

What do you feel is the most positive outcome of travel – and why should people return to the rivers on AmaSiena or any other ship?

Travel makes the world a much smaller place and we realize that, even though we have different cultures, nationalities and languages, we are still so similar. I was not a big traveler before I joined the travel industry, and I’m thankful that my job has given me the opportunity to experience this, especially while river cruising with AmaWaterways. It really is an experience like no other, a great way to see the world, unpack once and visit multiple destinations. What I love about the experiences on board AmaWaterways’ ships is that they are unique to the destination. Whether you sail Africa’s Chobe River on the Zambezi Queen, through the Mekong region aboard AmaDara, or any of the ships in Europe, you experience the culture through entertainment on board and in multiple ports as well, sometimes stopping twice a day for excursions. There’s no other way I would want to travel to Europe!

Stay tuned for more information about the christening and sail aboard our beautiful new AmaSiena on the following itineraries:

Read more about our esteemed Godmothers here.

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